Wandering Site — Inspiration Across Disciplinary Boundaries

This seminar allows interdisciplinary collaboration through the process of aesthetic transformation. We will start the process from a unique place in the Berlin cityscape and develop lndividual concepts from there. The focus will lie on the idea-generating process: How do we generate ideas and pass on inspiration? The aim is to fuel each other's creative process by generating new resources that can extend collaborators’ imaginative and interpretative capacities into uncharted realms.

The workshop introduces participants to the strategy of ‘Aesthetic Transformation’, a distinct creative practice that facilitates the stimulating interactions of different protagonists across disciplinary boundaries. ‘Aesthetic Transformation’ embraces processes of mutual inspiration and influence within the arts and other fields in and outside of academia. It is based on the fundamental idea that every creative work operates in a system of relationships to other fields, disciplines, as well as contexts, and therefore to what others have already created.
This course is aimed at artists of all disciplines, designers, architects, and people working in the creative sector who would like to experiment in an interdisciplinary environment. The participants initiate a transformation process within a dialogical response setting through which they will generate concepts and ideas. By finding inspiration in the work of a colleague, the participants will develop new works based on it. This will include the application of chance operations and strategies of improvisation to accelerate the creative action. The process of translation from one work into the next is the central momentum of this creative process - new works derive from another discipline and the work of another artist. The process will ultimately lead to individual results that are interconnected to the creative works of others.

Group conversations and readings will allow for a critical inquiry of contemporary art practices as well as their creative practice. A transformation process and artistic chain reaction need a starting point. This will be an extraordinary location in the city of Berlin that will be disclosed at the beginning of the class. Sound, performance, dance, sculpture, visual or conceptual artists, designers or architects will produce artwork as a first response to the chosen site and develop their theme(s) derived from it. Sequential works that act upon multiple interpretative statements of the participants will follow. Individual works will connect to others, and, in this way, a collective, multi-perspective artistic investigation on the chosen site and topics will unfold.

The transformation process will conclude with final works to be showcased in a public presentation.



Day 1

  • Introduction: Lecturers and Seminar participants
  • Lecture Hufschmid/Schild: From Inkling to the First Idea – How to Start an Aesthetic Transformation Process
  • Group work. Shaping the transformation process: jointly determining the process set-up and framework


  • Field trip: Visiting places in Berlin City
  • Exercise: Generating the first inkling
  • Interspace 1: Reflection of inklings, conversation
  • Dialogical response and Aesthetic Transformation, Step 1

Day 2

  • Interspace 2: Review and exchange of works
  • Lecture Hufschmid: Limiting Factors in Creative Processes
  • Group work: Determining limiting factors for Transformation step 2
  • Dialogical response and Aesthetic Transformation, Step 2


  • Interspace 3: Conversation and reflection
  • Discussion of works: What are the connecting points? Which elements in the predecessor’s work triggered a new idea?
  • Lecture: Introduction in Aesthetic Transformation theory based on Kathrin Busch’s text: Grafting, contaminating, parasitizing. On the aesthetics of transformation and Ursula Brandstätter: Transformations between the Arts: An Attempt at Systematization.

Day 3

  • Interspace 4: Review and exchange of works
  • “Blind” transfer of works
  • Lecture M. Schild: On Chance Operations & Improvisation
  • Discussion


  • Lecture: Douglas Hofstadter: Surfaces and Essences – On Thinking in Analogies.
  • Discussion based on the given input: What is inspiration?
  • Dialogical response and Aesthetic Transformation, Step 3
  • Exercise: Working with time constraints to enhance the creative process
  • Interspace 5: Conversation and Reflection

Day 4

  • Interspace 6: Review the responses and exchange of works
  • Lecture M. Schild: Collective authorship + Exercise
  • Dialogical response and Aesthetic Transformation, Step 4
  • Conversation and Reflection

Day 5

  • Interspace 7: Review the responses and exchange of works
  • Review of Transformation Process and ‘Fabric’ of artworks
  • Interspace 8: Conversation and Reflection
  • Closing contributions

Syllabus may be subject to change.

Elvira Hufschmid is a multi-media artist, curator, and author in the field of processes of aesthetic transformation and temporary art spaces. She collaborates with Dr. Margit Schild as a fellow/affiliated researcher at the Berlin Centre for Advanced Studies in Arts & Sciences (BAS) at the Berlin University of the Arts, with the research project Leaning Out of Windows – Art & Physics Collaborations through Aesthetic Transformations. Associated to Emily Carr University in Vancouver, Canada, the project brings international scholars and researchers from major particle physics laboratories (TRIUMF Vancouver, Fermilab Chicago) into a conversation with an international team of contemporary artists in order to explore how knowledge can be translated across (disciplinary) communities. Elvira received her MA in New Genres from the San Francisco Art Institute, US, and is currently a first-year Ph.D. candidate in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University, Canada.




Dr.-Ing. Margit Schild is a filmmaker, artist, and curator. She doctorated at the University of Hanover and studied Landscape and Open Space Planning, and worked as a lecturer and guest professor at various universities, including the Berlin University of the Arts and Emily Carr University in Vancouver, Canada. She collaborates with Elvira Hufschmid as a fellow/affiliated researcher at the Berlin Centre for Advanced Studies in Arts & Sciences (BAS) at the Berlin University of the Arts, with the research project Leaning Out of Windows – Art & Physics Collaborations through Aesthetic Transformations. In 2015, she directed her first documentary film Drifting on flight and migration. The documentary Orten (Locations) is her first full-length film. In addition to her work as a director, she is a co-founder of the School of the Provisional. This fall Margit is curating a symposium on Improvisation at the HKW House of World Cultures. She lives and works in Berlin as well as in Canada.



Run period:
29.06.2020 – 03.07.2020
Course time:
10.00 am – 5.00 pm
Application Deadline:

Course fee:
EUR 550

Min. number of participants:
Max. number of participants: